GMO False Advertising Claims On The Rise

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) appear today in many manufactured food products.  It is estimated that over 90% of the corn crops in the United States consist of GMO corn.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has entertained public commentary on the term “natural,” but to date has not provided a definition.  As regarding products containing GMO, the FDA has not expressed any position whether GMO products can be labeled “all natural.”  In fact, companies continue to label their products as “all natural” even though they contain GMOs.  The FDA provides general guidance to the industry concerning GMOs and warns against misbranding food.

Companies currently self-regulate their products that contain GMOs.  Consequently, consumer class action lawsuits that challenge companies that mislabel products with GMOs have grown in the past 10 years.  Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision granting class certification to a group of misled consumers that have purchased products containing GMOs yet are labeled “100% Natural.”  Robert Briseno v. ConAgra Foods, Inc. (01.03.2017). Legal observers predict that companies will face more lawsuits in 2017 concerning food and beverage misbranding for products containing GMOs.

About Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP

              Faruqi & Faruqi focuses on complex civil litigation, including securities, antitrust, wage and hour, and consumer class actions as well as shareholder derivative and merger transactional litigation.  The firm is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices in California, Delaware and Pennsylvania.  Since its founding in 1995, Faruqi & Faruqi has served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous high-profile cases which ultimately provided significant recoveries to investors, consumers and employees.

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About Barbara Rohr

Barbara Rohr is a Partner in Faruqi & Faruqi’s Los Angeles office.  Ms. Rohr focuses her practice on consumer class actions, representing plaintiffs in a variety of consumer fraud and false advertising cases.

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